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Recommendations on what to do with your Thanksgiving leftovers

Thanksgiving meal
Posted at 5:41 PM, Nov 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 23:47:34-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — For those who are still holding on to those Thanksgiving leftovers, local dietitians have a few tips and recommendations when it comes to food safety and what to do with those tasty food items. For many families, these leftovers can last for a good while.

“Normally we eat on them for several days,” said Corpus Christi visitor Lanna Palmer.

The KRIS 6 news team spoke to several families who said this year, because of the ongoing health crisis, their Thanksgiving feast may not be so grand, meaning less leftovers the family has to go through.

“We’ll eat the leftovers, you know we’re making enough for the six of us there at the house, there’s not going to be a whole lot of leftovers like normal when you have a big family,” said resident Marry Torres.

You may wonder; how long is too long to have leftovers sitting around? A registered dietitian with the Coastal Bend Food Bank, Kate Hilliard, said leftover food should not be stored in the refrigerator for more than four days.

“Now if you do wanna keep the shelf life a little longer you can always freeze those cooked foods and so if you know if you made way too much turkey and it’s already cooked you can just refreeze that. I would just recommend to just mark the date and what it is,” said Hilliard.

Hilliard also said you can use your turkey slices or ham into sandwiches. Other food items you have stored can also be used as casseroles, soups, and stews.

“Don’t hesitate to go ahead and freeze some of it, it is allowed to put cooked foods back in the freezer,” said clinical nutritionist with the CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, Carolyn Ball.

Staff with CHRISTUS Spohn also said it’s important that if you freeze your meats, veggies, and other food items, that you do so properly in the refrigerator.

One crucial rule medical professionals say to follow when fighting against food-borne sickness is to cook thawed raw meat right away.

“When we talk about food-born illnesses, we want to make sure that we’re keeping everyone’s immune system healthy. So that’s kids, that’s elderly, that’s anyone that could have other diseases like diabetes,” said Hilliard.